Think your job is secure? Really?

Orange County businesses, careers and personal finance
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John Q. Public
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Think your job is secure? Really?

Post by John Q. Public »

This just in from our "get an education, don't do drugs, don't become a teen mother, work hard, become successful and get canned anyway" department - I was told today that Staples is eliminating the position of.............. Drum roll, please............... Store Manager.

How's that?

Yes, they've always faced the possibility of their store closing or the company going out of business, but I bet they never considered their position being eliminated. Thoroughly conceivable, though. The managers of a lot of smaller stores function more as an assistant manager, with the district manager filling the store manager role, but I've never heard of it in a store the size of a Staples.

Sounds like an interesting experiment. My guess is the first thing to go... well, second thing to go, I guess, will be morale. Third thing to go will be assistant managers when they realize they're $18-an-hour store managers.

Financial engineering at its finest.
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Parrotpaul
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Re: Think your job is secure? Really?

Post by Parrotpaul »

Marcus Lamonis ran into this situation on one of the Profit shows when he decided to help to subsidize the owner of a beauty shop with several different locations who was being taken to the cleaners from a former disgruntled partner who sued and caused some major problems for the owner. A central manager working at the "main" shop did the ordering for all locations and lorded over each of the other shop managers while never visiting any of the other shops or knowing...when questioned by Marcus...just what her job description and her actual "duties" were. She stumbled through some lamebrain explanation with some added attitude, but in the end she was costing the store a bunch and nothing of substance was done in the managing area....supplies and inventory were totally unaccounted for in her job performance. Marcus changed all that.

Lamonis decided to ditch the central manager position and put the responsibility of managing each shop to each shop's manager where the person in charge knew the store and its needs and personnel and was directly responsible and held accountable for ordering and the performance of each shop...dyes were the largest and most individualized product that needed to be held in check, controlled ,and accounted for to the package for each store.

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afan95
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Re: Think your job is secure? Really?

Post by afan95 »

Yes, centralization at the corporate level will be the demise of many organizations.
The corporate employees often forget who the customer is. It seems like the model of "delighting the customer" is being flipped into do what makes the corporation's top level happy and those who serve the customer and the customer themselves need to adjust.

Makes me long for the "mom and pop" stores/companies that used to provide personal service and actually care about their customers.

IMO, if more corporate heads acted and thought like Marcus did, things would be a lot different. He helps the company make money and the customer gets what they want and deserve.
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Re: Think your job is secure? Really?

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Re: Think your job is secure? Really?

Post by not4u13 »

This is interesting. The underlying theme is that the stores have become cookie-cutter with regional differences. Most store managers don't manage staff, do the schedules, order inventory ... they oversee that stuff and make adjustments based on what is going on in THAT store. A company like Staples has homogonized their stores. Everyone one looks like the other, at least within the same locale. Centralization of operational oversight almost makes sense (in their model). I suspect they had taken away any real decision making long ago.

They have also made a decision they sell goods and not service. Ths model has even less chance of working in a primarily service oriented business. That requires "on the ground" deision making in order to adapt to the customer that is standing right in front of you. Staples sells commodities. Everything you buy there, you can buy just about anywhere ... an you don't need a lot of "support" either. What you need is a wide variety of reasonably priced items in a convenient location.

I also imagine the online world has had a hand in this decision as well.

I don't think it will really work very well ... but it actually has a chance.
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Re: Think your job is secure? Really?

Post by MDDad »

Based on a sample size of one, I think the theory that Staples store managers don't really manage their stores is probably valid. In the store nearest my home, the "store manager" spends almost his entire time behind the computer repair counter as the head fix-it geek.
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Re: Think your job is secure? Really?

Post by Parrotpaul »

You must shop at the Staples in the Stater Bros plaza on El Toro near LWV Gate 7. That manager does the same thing.
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Re: Think your job is secure? Really?

Post by MDDad »

Nope. I guess our sample size is now two.
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